Over the past year or so Microsoft Learning has been re-evaluating their product specific certifications, and now we are starting to get some information on the new certification paths for SharePoint 2013. To give a little background, in SharePoint 2010 there were two levels of certifications for IT Pros your MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist) and the MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional). In order to receive your MCTS for SharePoint 2010 you needed to pass the 70-667 exam which was labeled Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring. In order to receive your MCITP for SharePoint 2010 you not only needed to pass the 70-667 exam but also the 70-668 labeled Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Administrator.
Enough about the past, now looking forward to SharePoint 2013, for IT Pro’s they are requiring a lot more base configuration knowledge in order to be “SharePoint” certified. First off, they are changing the acronyms again, however there is only going to be one base certification for SharePoint MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert). The biggest change here, is that the MCSE certification is NOT application specific, what that does mean is that the MCSE certification is only “active” for 3 years after it is received. This aligns with most application lifecycles so that by the time a new “version” of a product comes out, it will be time to get re-certified for that solution. In addition to the SharePoint specific exams for IT Pros (70-331 and 70-332), Microsoft is also requiring an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) for Windows Server 2012. Here is a diagram showing the certifications and exams that need to be passed to be “SharePoint” certified in the new structure:
In order to receive your MCSA: Windows Server 2012, there are a few paths in which to go down. If you are starting from scratch there are three exams to take (70-410, 70-411, 70-412) which combined will earn you the MCSA: Windows Server 2012.
If you already have the MCITP: SharePoint 2010, Administrator then the good news is you only need to take one exam (70-417) in order to become an MCSA: Windows Server 2012 using the “upgrade” path.
Confused yet? It’s a new model, but what this really means for Microsoft SharePoint certifications is now a base understanding of the operating system will be required and not just solution knowledge. Things will continue to evolve as the path goes forward, but this should make being SharePoint certified for IT Pro’s mean more than it has in the past.
As for certifications for SharePoint 2013 on the developer side, those questions are actually still being answered inside of Microsoft Learning as all of the exams required for that certification still have yet to be decided. Once those details have been released, we’ll make sure to post another article to help educate those aiming to be certified on the platform.
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